Controversial industrial metal shredder goes before Howell Planning Commission on Wednesday, Nov. 20

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Photo from the City of Howell Planning Commission packet.

The social media wires lit up Nov. 19 as word spread of a controversial proposal coming before the City of Howell Planning Commission for approval on Nov. 20.

The proposal is for the expansion of the Regal Recycling site, which was sold to a company named PADNOS (https://padnos.com/) over the summer, which wants to build an industrial metal shredder on the site.

In the Facebook post by Howell resident Kelly Hansen that is spreading like wildfire, she writes: “Industrial metal shredders emit known carcinogenic pollutants, are noisy, and create strong vibrations that damage property and affect wildlife.

“Even if you cannot ‘see’ the scrapper from your street, they will emit noise pollution and fine carcinogenic dusts that will settle on your property.”

Another post pegged the project as a LULU, or locally unwanted land use.

“They are noisy, stinky, unsightly, and once they are allowed in, good luck regulating,” the post read. “I’ve seen these uses have piles of metal (fridges, cars, scrap) more than 75-80 feet high. Not to mention future EPA issues with groundwater contamination and soil contamination.”

However, PADNOS was quoted in a news report as saying opposition was “overblown.”

“We think this is an optimal site for a shredder,” Ben Irwin, PADNOS chief financial officer, was quoted as saying. “We run a world-class operation. I think those concerns are overblown.”

Officials in Houston say they are constantly responding to complaints of illnesses, vibrations causing property damage, explosions, unsafe working conditions and a host of more serious concerns. You can read about the experience Houston had by clicking here.

There are other stories in the media about the experiences in other communities:

Minneapolis

Chicago

Providence, Rhode Island

If you are a Howell resident concerned about this proposal, you should attend the Planning Commission meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Howell City Hall, 611 E. Grand River Ave.

You can download the Planning Commission packet by clicking here. The material about the PADNOS proposal begins on page 33.

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